The Buzz

Incumbents rule! Ticket splitters don’t!


Voters have long opted for incumbents over challengers.

But 2016 was something extraordinary on that front.

According to the University of Virginia Center for Politics, 380 of 393 House members (97 percent) who sought re-election this year won. So did 27 of 29 senators (93 percent), and four of five governors (80 percent).

The House re-election rate since World War is 93 percent. In the Senate, it’s 80 percent, and for governors it’s 73 percent.

So, this was an especially good year to be an incumbent even though on the presidential level, it was the year of the outsider. Missouri, of course, fit the bill perfectly as incumbent Sen. Roy Blunt beat challenger Jason Kander.

One other fun fact from the center

“This is the first cycle in the history of popular Senate elections that every state that held a Senate election in a presidential cycle voted for the same party for both president and for Senate (34 for 34 this year).”

So, folks hopping back and forth across the ballot simply didn’t happen to the extent that some pundits forecast.